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county in the province of Leinster, east-central Ireland, formerly called Queen's county. It is bounded by Counties Offaly (north and west), Kildare (east), Carlow and Kilkenny (south), and Tipperary (southwest). The county consists mainly of the valleys of the upper Nore and upper Barrow rivers. Within the county are the greater part of the Slieve Bloom, a range of mountains reaching 1,732 feet (528 metres) at Arderin, and the northern part of the Castlecomer Plateau. The county seat is Portlaoighise (Portlaoise). Most of the county is lowland between the Slieve Bloom and the Castlecomer Plateau. More than four-fifths of the county is improved land